08 Jan 2021 How WatchGuard Security Can Support the Working From Home Transition: Purdicom Case Study
How WatchGuard Security Can Support the Working From Home Transition: Purdicom Case Study
With many employees back working from home as the UK has gone into a third lockdown, it is essential to consider the security of the business network. Working from home is very effective in keeping your business running, employees are using their home Wi-Fi, significantly increasing your vulnerabilities.
WHO ARE WATCHGUARD?
WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in network security, endpoint security, secure Wi-Fi, multi-factor authentication, and network intelligence. The companies award-winning products and services are trusted around the world by more than 18,000 security resellers and service providers to protect more than 250,000 customers. WatchGuard’s mission is to make enterprise-grade security accessible to companies of all types and sizes through simplicity, making WatchGuard an ideal solution for midmarket businesses and distributed enterprises. For more than 20 years, WatchGuard has pioneered cutting-edge cybersecurity technology and delivered it as easy-to-deploy and easy-to-manage solutions. With industry-leading network and endpoint security, secure Wi-Fi, multi-factor authentication, and network intelligence products and services, WatchGuard enables more than 80,000 small and midsize enterprises from around the globe to protect their most important assets, including over 10 million endpoints. To learn more, click here.
WHAT WAS THE CHALLENGE?
Covid-19 meant a quick transition to a fully remote workforce for Purdicom Ltd. Just like we were all taking measures to stay healthy, it was essential to take steps to protect our employees against hackers too. One of the challenges of enabling a remote workforce was that the chances of being the subject of a cyber-attack increase significantly.
Home networks were overwhelmed, VPN use spiked, and the need to secure remote workers was greater than ever with attackers adding new techniques and tactics to their arsenal by the day. Without the security of firewalls and company Wi-Fi networks, a user on the go could become infected without realising, and even introduce the infection to the broader environment when they reconnect to the company network.
At Purdicom we are proud to also use the products we offer, which is why in March 2020 when Covid-19 first forced us all to work from home, we quickly made some changes using the WatchGuard products.
REMOTE WORKING WITH IKEv2 VPN
IKEv2 uses multi-layer security meaning a certificate and username/password are required rather than just a pre-shared key. Because it can be linked to a RADIUS server it is easy to control who has access, so even if someone obtained the certificate, they would still need to know an authorised user to gain access. For even more security there is the option to link the solution to WatchGuard’s multi-factor authentication service AuthPoint.
IKEv2 is widely supported and utilises the native VPN built into Windows 10. After the configuration is done the file is sent to all users to run the file relevant to their OS which will install the profile and they’re ready to go. The great thing about IKEv2 is because it is a lightweight protocol there is very little overhead and little impact on performance. It’s less intensive on the CPU and very quick to connect and re-establish if the connection ever drops (which often happens when using the home Wi-Fi). Purdicom ensured all users were using IKEv2 to make sure they were accessing the network safely.
REMOTE WORKING WITHOUT A VPN
The IKEv2 works great for Purdicom employees most of the time, but there have been some instances where it does not. For example, when our technical team needs to use the heat-mapping software Ekahau, they found the application was not as responsive, slowing them down. This is where WatchGuard’s feature on their M-Series Firewalls called Access Portal helped us by allowing access to the workstation via the browser using HTML5. This allowed our heat-mapping gurus to access their workstations and work effectively without any issues all while protected by the WatchGuard Firewall. WatchGuard’s remote Access Portal is simple and effective without needing to install any VPN software leveraging the Firebox capabilities. Perfect for Purdicoms staff who rely on powerful workstations when working remotely.
MOVING INTO 2021
As we have moved into the third lockdown and back to a fully remote workforce the two solutions from WatchGuard have given Purdicom the ability to maintain business as usual. Rather than worrying about the security of the network, Purdicom has instead been able to focus on revenue-generating activity during this challenging time.
If you’re interested in any of the products or services mentioned above, get in contact;